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Sentinel-5p first light: first TROPOMI results.

Sulphur dioxide signal from the Mt. Agung on Bali. (source: ESA)

Today, the first scientific results were presented from measurements of the TROPOMI satellite instrument, launched last October on-board the Sentinel-5P platform. During an ESA press event, organised at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), a range of images and animations were shown, demonstrating the unprecedented spatial resolution delivered by the TROPOMI sensor. As the first Copernicus mission aimed at atmospheric chemistry, Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI is designed to derive the amounts of a wide range of atmospheric trace gases. As one of the highlights presented today, the first images and animations of volcanic sulphur dioxide SO2 were shown; they show the total vertical gas column above the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian Island of Bali that erupted last week. Only a few weeks after launch, it is already clear that TROPOMI is capable of monitoring volcanic events in unprecedented detail, therewith providing invaluable knowledge to the local population and air traffic control.

The SO2 results are derived from spectroscopic measurements in the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In strong synergy with (DLR), the UV-VIS/DOAS group at BIRA-IASB developed the algorithm that derives the SO2 amounts from the spectra. In a similar fashion, the group has contributed to the TROPOMI algorithms for formaldehyde (HCHO) and ozone (O3) total column amounts.

Animated SO2 plume from Mt. Agung. (source: ESA)

Last update on 04 Dec 2017